Timo Maas A Hot Commodity For Madonna, Kelis, Paul Oakenfold

DJ/producer releases first true mix and production albums this year.

Paul Oakenfold, Carl Cox, Deep Dish, Seb Fontaine, John Kelley and Dave Seaman can't all be wrong.

Timo Maas is undeniably hot.

The Düsseldorf, Germany, techno, house, trance and breaks DJ/producer has given tracks to mix albums by those top tier DJs and at least 20 others in the past two years. He's also been commissioned by BT, Green Velvet and Madonna to remix their high-profile singles — "Never Gonna Come Back Down," "Flash" and "Don't Tell Me," respectively.

As the centuries turned, Maas was everywhere. Now, dance music aficionados who have grown accustomed to what Maas calls "wet and hard funk" are asking: Can Timo keep up the pace?

"Well, the truth is, last year I did four remixes and everything else was a re-release from the last four years [dug out from the vaults] as my name got bigger, so I never had that pace to begin with," Maas admitted Friday.

Still, 2001 is shaping up to be another landmark year for the über-producer as he plans to release his first true mix album and first true production album (his debut last year, Music for the Maases, was a combination — a mix album of his catalog of singles and remixes). Maas, who was introduced to American audiences with a residency at New York's famed club Twilo, will also soak the rest of the country on Moby's Area: One tour.

His mix album Connected, released May 15 on Kinetic, gives fans a hint of what to expect when he comes to a festival tent near you.

"It is the sound of exactly now for me," Maas said of the double-disc release. "Mixing compilations is very similar to mixing a set, as you need†to choose the right records, and the right balance between very new and records just breaking as the compilation arrives in the stores. And you have to build the music like a whole night out."

Connected includes a collection of underground dance ditties and mainstream club hits. Maas' own remix of Fatboy Slim's "Star 69" kicks off the second album, while Deep Dish's "Gladiator Remix" of Delerium's "Innocente," featuring Leigh Nash of Sixpence None the Richer, is a highlight on the first album. DJ Dave Clarke also appears on the album, with a remix of Midfield General's "Coatnoise." Maas contributes a new track, "OCB," and a remix of Placebo's "Special K."

"The album needs to appeal to a broad cross section," Maas said of Connected, which flows from freaky breaks to hypnotic trance.

Maas, who scored Top 40 singles in Europe with his own "Der Schieber" and "Ubik," and a Top 10 hit with his remix of Azzido Da Bass' "Dooms Night," will venture into all sorts of dance music territories on his production debut, Loud, due in October.

"The direction will be something of a surprise to people," Maas said. "It's quite varying in styles, with a lot of guitars, a bit of rapping and very funky, as well as some quite rough techno tracks on it."

Maas experimented with rock on "Ubik," which featured Martin Bettinghaus from German funk group Spice on vocals, and will dabble in R&B later this month when he remixes a track from Kelis' new Wanderland.

Come July 11, when Area: One opens in Atlanta, expect to see Maas not just behind the decks, but in the crowd, taking in music that ranges from Nelly Furtado to Outkast to New Order (see "Area: One Festival's Details Come Into Focus").

"Obviously, clubs are my roots, but I'm looking forward to seeing something new, especially since the album is heading a little in that direction," Maas said. "[Area: One] will help me represent myself to a more live audience rather than club, which I'm excited about."

Area: One, which also includes fellow DJs Oakenfold, Cox and the Orb, will hit 16 cities across the U.S. this summer.

Maas will also play the following club dates, according to his publicist:

  • 6/16 - Miami, FL @ Crobar

  • 6/17 - New York, NY @ Centro Fly

  • 6/20 - Las Vegas, NV @ Ra

  • 6/21 - Houston, TX @ Hyperia

  • 6/23 - Los Angeles, CA @ Circus

  • 6/24 - San Francisco, CA @ Spundae